Lawyers guard the

gates of civilization'

As a past president of the Lee County Bar Association and as a practicing lawyer of 29 years, I feel compelled to respond to the comments of Jennifer Ginn as reported in your March 21 issue. While others will respond differently, my response is one of dismay and disappointment in so shallow a viewpoint.

All occupations and professions are populated by good and bad persons. More to the point is the fact that our form of government a constitutional republic transcends persons and is guided by the rule of law.

One may take issue with lawyers but to condemn a society and its people is both unfair and uninformed. One must look beyond the human aspect to see, as did President John Kennedy, that our nation is founded on the principle that observance of the law is the eternal safeguard of liberty.

Our constitution provides a frame upon which we continue to build, a method of self governing. This model requires flexibility and a means by which the law can be applied in an even-handed fashion. Historically lawyers have carried out this function. In doing so they will not always be popular; however, most lawyers understand and take seriously their role as the guardians of the gates of civilization.

In his final report as chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, Sen. Sam F. Ervin Jr. stated that law is not self-executing and, at times, its execution rests in the hands of those who are faithless to it; and even when its enforcement is committed to those who revere it, law merely deters some human beings from offending and punishes other human beings for offending. This does not make men good. This task can be performed only by ethics, or religion, or morality.

So Ginn should understand that lawyers are human beings and therefore imperfect. Most try to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. John Locke, upon whose writings much of our form of government is based, said that wherever law ends, tyranny begins. Please remember that when next you feel compelled to callously indict those who protect your right to do so.

David R. Sparks


Confederate flag drips

with poison of racism

The argument that the Confederate flag as it is depicted in the Mississippi flag was never a symbol of hatred or never flew over a Confederate ship is, true or false, irrelevant. The Confederate flag is a symbol and the meaning of symbols change.

At some point during the 1940s, when I was a young girl in Macon, Ga., the Rialto Theater opened its balcony to blacks. A friend and I went to a movie at the Rialto one winter Saturday afternoon. I don't remember being aware at the time that the balcony had been opened to blacks (my father certainly wasn't aware of it or he would have never allowed me to go). Evidently the decision had very recently been made. The Ku Klux Klan knew about it, however, and when my friend and I came out of the movie house, my father wasn't there to meet us but the Klan was. The street and the doublewide Macon sidewalk was packed with men dressed in white robes with hoods and waving flags that seemed as large to me as bed sheets. The flags were the same Confederate design as the one in the Mississippi flag today, and they didn't indicate to me anything about pride or heritage or any other attribute I wanted to be associated with.

Think of the images that come to mind when you see a swastika Nazi Germany, Neo-Nazis, Aryan Power, White Power, concentrations camps. But the swastika itself is a primitive symbol meaning good fortune and well-being. The swastika's meaning has changed since World War II. No one thinks of good fortune when he or she sees a swastika.

Whatever the significance was of the Confederate flag, the design that now rests in the upper left-hand corner of the Mississippi state flag is, in my experience, a symbol of hatred against blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Asians anyone who is not Aryan and for that reason, it should not be there. Mississippi is not an Aryan state.

Charlene E. Dye


Anti-flag comment

linked to communism

In response to the Rev. Donald Wildmon's position to change our flag, I wish to cite Ephesians 6:10-20, "Put on the full armor of God and stand against the fiery darts of the wicked one." We are in spiritual warfare here.

I have the utmost regard for Bro. Wildmon, his work and accomplishments. However, this is a wide and deep battlefield where it is impossible for anyone to fathom all the elements involved in this spiritual and political warfare. Looking at it from the angle of a student of communism, we can see Lenin's influence alive in opposing any Christian symbols in public life, which is the cross of St. Andrew in our flag represents. Lenin declared the main objective of communism is to "dethrone Christ."

At the risk of being politically incorrect, let's just shuck the corn and see what we have. Both the NAACP and the ACLU were organized early in the last century in New York by dedicated Marxists to advance their agenda of changing our nation from a constitutional republic to a socialistic state. Unfortunately, they have made great progress. Christians have lost too often to the humanist in the cultural warfare. We need to win this one.

God made America special and directed this nation in the course of liberty and Christian self-government. I'm proud to be an American and a Mississippian whose flag represents the highest of ideals. Let's keep it flying!

By the way, my grandfather, Dr. Arthur Rice, was a member of the Mississippi legislature when our present flag was adopted.

Horace Harned


Eyes of world

focus on flag vote

I am writing to urge my fellow citizens of Mississippi to vote on April 17 to support the proposed new state flag.

As we are well aware, many individuals our friends and neighbors, employees and employers, people of all races find the old flag to be an offensive remnant of the past, recalling a time when significant portions of our population were not allowed to fully enjoy the benefits of American citizenship. For this reason alone, we should replace the old flag with a new one, one symbolic of a new beginning in this, the new millennium.

In addition to the ideological reasons for changing the flag, there are also some very practical arguments in favor of adopting a new one. The world's eyes are on Mississippi, waiting to see if we will do the right thing, because other southern state have taken the initiative to change their policies regarding the rebel flag. Georgia, for example, has recently changed its state flag, and the rebel flag no longer flies over the South Carolina state capitol. In these uncertain economic times, we cannot risk our state's reputation in the business world. Now more than ever, we need to attract outside investment. Now more than ever, we need to invite tourists to our state, not drive them away. If we fail to adopt a new state flag one that is representative of all of Mississippi's citizens I fear we will potentially, perhaps irrevocably, harm our growing prosperity.

In the last few weeks, individuals and groups throughout our great state (chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, churches of all denominations) have endorsed the new flag. Please. I strongly urge you, my fellow citizens, to vote YES to the new flag on Tuesday, April 17.

Nikki Ivancic


Senior, Millsaps College

Ginn's column gave

hope for responsibility

I want to commend Jennifer Ginn for the article she wrote in the Journal's March 22 issue. Her article was a bit disconcerting to my daily routine. Many mornings when I finish reading my newspaper I apparently get pleasure by getting angry at what I have read, because I keep reading the newspaper. This particular morning was different. As I read comments by Jennifer I began shouting "Hooray, hooray," there is a newspaper writer who agrees with me.

For me to read someone who uses terms like personal responsibility, self-discipline, telling the truth and even denouncing that insidious word "entitlement," what is this world coming to? There may be hope!

I began to fantasize; I may even read articles in the future about such ideas as delayed gratification and the correct understanding of compassion. Surely, the Journal wouldn't be that disruptive to my routines, would it?

Richard "Dick" Johnson


A vote for new flag

is a vote for Jackson

About the flag issue. You paid to vote on this.

Just remember a vote for the new flag is a vote for Jesse Jackson and his trouble makers against Mississippi. A vote for the old flag is not against the good black people of Mississippi.

Just remember the next general election the ones who started this issue and the ones who supported it. Your tax dollars at work.

Roy Copeland


community made

United Way a success

I would like to thank the Northeast Mississippi community for its support of United Way of Northeast Mississippi's 2000 campaign.

Through the work of over 150 volunteers in Chickasaw, Lee, Prentiss and Union counties, we were able to exceed our goal by raising $1,402,000. Numerous companies, organizations and individuals in the area contributed financially to the campaign. As a result, 36 non-profit, health and human services agencies will continue to meet the needs of Northeast Mississippi by improving education, strengthening children and families, promoting health and wellness, providing community and emergency assistance, and increasing housing and employment.

Thank you, Northeast Mississippi, for creating a better place to live and work!

William "Bill" Moran

FMA Site Manager

2000 United Way Campaign Chairman

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